Flag fury sucks in president

The controversy over whether Albanian-born pupil Odhise Qena, 18, should be allowed to carry the Greek flag in his school’s October 28 parade – a right stemming from his scoring top marks in his school – moved to another level yesterday, entangling President Costis Stephanopoulos unwittingly. Three years ago, the president had declared support for Qena when, again, local protests stopped him from carrying the flag. Noting the words of the ancient orator Isocrates, Stephanopoulos had said, «He who partakes of Greek education is Greek.» On Saturday, Constantinos Tsatsis, the prefect of the northern prefectures of Drama, Xanthi and Kavala, criticized the president for his position. «Mr Stephanopoulos has not always done the right thing in his life,» Tsatsis told a local TV station. Government spokesman Christos Protopappas, noting that New Democracy had backed Tsatsis’s election, demanded to know whether the party agreed with his view. ND condemned as «unacceptable» both the comments against the president and «any effort to exploit them.»